Yes, Donald Trump Has a Point About Political Prosecution

Ronald Sievert at The Conversation: The facts and the law behind New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s successful prosecution of Donald Trump could be argued at length. But as a government prosecutor for 30 years, I have been most interested in the ethics of prosecuting that case.

Outside the courthouse after the verdict, Trump said, “This was a disgrace.” That echoes comments made over the year since his indictment in the case in which Trump repeatedly claimed the prosecution was “political persecution.”

There’s merit to his point. No one better outlined the important ethical standards that have enabled state and federal prosecutors to maintain an image of integrity and honesty than Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson. In a speech to the nation’s federal prosecutors on April 1, 1940, he noted that prosecutors should select cases where the offense is “most flagrant and the public harm the greatest,” while warning that the prosecutor’s ability to choose defendants is the “most dangerous power.”

Choosing defendants, Jackson said, requires judgment. It is a power that can be abused.

“With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone,” Jackson said…

More here.

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